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Natalya Brinza Project Manager
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How to Develop Augmented Reality Apps

So, staying in tune with the latest trends, software development managers are exploring the world of augmented reality and its advantages for a business.

What is augmented reality?

More simply, AR means overlaying pieces of virtual world over the real world. this is not to be confused with VR (Virtual Reality), which is about replacing the real world with a virtual one. For example, on mobile devices, augmented reality app developers integrate simple add-ins of multimedia content to what you can see through device's camera. When developing AR application, to make it work answer the fundamental question: WHERE, WHAT and HOW to display it?

What are the types of AR apps?

There are two distinct forms of AR apps – location-based and marker-based. The first one is about monitoring the position of a device by using its distinct capabilities. So, the AR app provides contextual data based on the location of this device. Such location-sensitive functionalities may help you with directions in a particular city, finding parks to locate a vehicle or a car, and even learning names of stars in the sky. Another AR app form operates by pinpointing particular patterns (it could be either QR code, or a brand symbol) to overlay digital information upon the real-world environment. User just points his gadget at a particular object and get a virtual UI on top of it.

How to develop augmented reality apps?

Turning to Where-What-How Question, we'll discuss how the AR app is organized. The Where involves next areas: 3D object matching and tracking, 2D image matching and tracking, face detecting, SLAM and location tracking (with the use of GPS, accelerometer, compass and gyroscope). Also, “Where” can be just a certain location, like one of the Points of Interest (POIs).

The What and the How parts of the question should leverage 3D model rendering, animations and gesture detection. Actually, the What is the piece of digital information (text, image or video) which the user can also interact with (rotate or move, if he wants).

There are AR tools that enable easy development of augmented reality apps for any device – smartphones, tablets and even smartglasses. The most popular of them are: ARPA SDKs, DroidAR (developed specifically for Android), ArLab SDK, Wikitude SDK, etc. Most of them (except DroidAR) support multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Google Glass and Windows.

how to develop augmented app

Keep in mind, that augmented reality app development can be tricky enough. So watch carefully for the right technologies and products you are going to use. The app development products I mentioned above are already being used to develop apps for blue-chip companies across different industries.

To conclude:

Create your own magic with the AR tools we have talked about today. Just imagine: there are apps that make a museum exhibit tell its own story, help you match the right furniture in your apartment, or bring a fox you just drew on a sketch pad to life. Picking one of the tools, you'll make virtuality real.

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author Kate Sipkina Kate Sipkina
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Natalya Brinza project manager
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